I was talking with some architects last week about the ongoing Perez APC debacle in the lower ninth ward. I wish someone had been documenting this wreck from the beginning, because it would be a great teaching film for would-be developers: do not try any of the tactics you see here! And the professionals I was speaking too agreed--they had been forwarding coverage to their colleagues in other cities, in awe at the stubborn, clumsy disrespect Perez continues to demonstrate in a community they claim to aspire to be a part of.
More remarkable than their missteps is their refusal to backtrack when being called on their BS. For example, after meeting with the community and learning that we have, historically, fought against development of the kind they were proposing, they announced that they had no intention of negotiating. Then, when the community collaborated on three alternative plans with Tulane City Center, Perez complained that they hadn't been included, while refusing to incorporate any of the community's needs into their own plan. The result: instead of having 800 people working to support their effort to develop the former Holy Cross school property, they have 800 people fighting against them. When news coverage criticized the efforts made by Perez to bypass the community, they admitted that perhaps instead of a PR company they should have invested in community outreach; and then they continued to dismiss the community rather than reaching out to them.
Here are some of the highlights, or lowlights, of their failed campaign:
This lead me to post this (I think) rather funny graphic on my Twitter feed:
The response? Angela's daughter, a self-proclaimed "entertainer," began Tweeting and posting on Facebook calling me a troll who was trying to "stop her mother."
To be continued...